The Future of the Role

Scott Keay*, Rebecca Phythian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


It could be argued that the police analyst has lived through troubled times during the first two decades of the twenty-first century. Questions have been raised about the analyst outputs (Belur and Johnson, 2016; Chainey, 2012; Innes et al., 2005) and if they offer any real value. This has also been echoed in the USA (Santos and Taylor, 2014). However, there has also been significant hope in what the analyst can offer too (Kirby and Keay, 2021; Piza et al., 2020). So, whilst the integration of crime and intelligence analysis continues to gain momentum, in some part, kick-started by the growing emphasis on Evidence Based Policing and Problem Oriented Policing, the analyst role faces new challenges: the future. What does the future have in store for the analyst role? With a greater reliance on technology in an evolving digital world, are the skills required by police analysts meeting these challenges or does the role have to evolve once more to embrace big data and new technology? This chapter examines the evolving role of the analyst and argues that the analyst is perhaps not ready to meet future demand. The chapter will outline what is needed by the analyst and the analyst organisation to ensure that the role can develop to meet future demands, both operationally and organisationally.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Crime Analyst’s Companion
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783030943646
ISBN (Print)9783030943639
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Crime analysis
  • Digital age
  • Evidence-based policing
  • Leadership and development
  • Partnerships


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